Are Russian troops in eastern Ukraine? (Some, probably, but I don’t think that’s really the point)

This article has a great description of paramilitaries operating in Eastern Ukraine.

In Moscow's Shadows

ukraine-pro-russia-activists-seize-kramatorks-interior-ministry-building As western Ukrainian security forces reportedly seek to dislodge ethnic Russian paramilitaries from government buildings in Slaviansk  (although that’s now being questioned) and anti-Kyiv forces muster in other eastern Ukrainian cities, allegations are flying thick and fast about the presence of Russian troops in these disturbances. (I should mention that The Interpreter ‘s liveblog is an invaluable service in keeping track of all the claims, counterclaims and reports on the ground.)

The facts on the ground are confused, the claims are often overblown, but there does seem to be some basis for believing that limited numbers of Russian agents and special forces are present. However important that undoubtedly may seem, I think focusing on actual bodies on the ground misses the main point: Russia’s real role in this new Great Game is not so much direct but to incite, support and protect the local elites and paramilitaries who are driving…

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